Monday, 19 December 2016

What If? Metropolis - Reflective Statement

I found this project both difficult and rewarding. I first found it quite difficult to come up with an idea that I thought worked well, though after trying a few different methods it became much easier to visualise. I think I could have managed my time more efficiently as I found that since I took so long getting an idea in the first weeks it was difficult to get everything done later on. I think I will be trying different methods to sketch idea's faster in the first weeks and moving on if they don't work as it will help in enabling me to get to the rest of the work faster.

I liked the modelling in Maya that I did, though I feel I could have created more detailed models for the buildings closer to the camera. I liked the texturing I did as I feel it added a degree of realism to the materials while also keeping it looking like my concept art. I felt that I wanted to keep the buildings fairly flat as my collaborators work was very graphical and flat which is something I wanted to replicate in the final render. I think I achieved that goal to some degree though there were things I could have improved upon in my Maya work.

Overall I feel like this project went fairly well and I enjoyed the final piece I created. I will be using the feedback I received on crit day as well as what I will receive to improve my work for the next project.

Film Review - Black Narcissus

Fig 1. Movie Poster
Black Narcissus (1947) directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger is a film that focuses on loneliness and solitude. The film follows a group of nuns as they set up a school and hospital on top of a mountain. The top of the mountain is a remote place, leaving the nuns in isolation for much of their time.

The films use of colour works with its story in that there are more natural colours used at the beginning, then as the nuns feel the effects of isolation more colours are brought in. One such colour is red used to light scenes where conflict is shown, both internal conflict and external, particularly around Sister Ruth. This is shown slowly shown through colour, 'A copper pink light is thrown onto the walls through grills and windows and the scene of Sister Ruth applying red lipstick holding a vivid red compact, is spellbinding' (Howells, 2011). The red that is used appear 'feverish and is as effective and foreboding as Nicholas Roeg's "Don't Look Now"' (Mirasol, 2010).

Fig 2, Sister Ruth applies lipstick
The isolation in the film is shown to have an effect on the characters the more time they spend in it. At the beginning of the film the nuns are shown as normal, devout and kind but as the film progresses the isolation affects them all. Throughout the film it is shown that 'their inner turmoil is exacerbated by extreme conditions and isolation.' (Mirasol, 2010). Sister Ruth is particularly affected by the isolation and as such 'conceives an erotomaniacal obsession for Dean, and her final appearance in the film, gaunt and wraithlike, is still one of the scariest moments'. (Bradshaw, 2005).


Bradshaw, Peter, 2005 "Black Narcissus" -

Howells, Michael, 2011 "Behind the Mask: Production design in Black Narcissus" -
Mirasol, Michael, 2010 "Black Narcissus," which electrified Scorsese -


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What If? Metropolis - Matte Painting Gif

Matte Painting Gif

What If? Metropolis - Art of Stenberg

Saturday, 17 December 2016

What If? Metropolis - The Stenberg Brothers Research

What If? Metropolis - Travelogue

When entering Stenberg you are greeted with colour, dark reds and strong yellows alongside dull blue, almost greys. The structures range from tall buildings, that tower over the inhabitants to smaller blockier houses, more geometric in shape and sharp at the corners. The paths all lead to the same place, some straight while others twist and turn as you walk, curling around houses to the centre of the city. The houses change the closer to the centre you get, the smaller, blockier buildings in the outer portions of the city leading into the taller buildings in the centre of the city.

The city’s inner buildings are tall and imposing, towering high above the buildings in the outer city and requiring the people to crane their heads back to see the top, they are supported by beams and poles that carry the weight of the topmost parts. The buildings are made of metals like steel and aluminium as well as cement, painted in bold colours and striped patterns that accentuate the angles the architecture provides. Windows stretch high and wide, sometimes covering entire walls yet other times remaining sparse across the building.

The city of Stenberg is one that is in motion, reaching out and stretching across spaces. The inhabitants too are caught in a momentum, moving constantly yet completely content. There is a sense of business and of organised chaos, of structure and reason underlined with playfulness and adventure.

The further out from the centre of the city you get, the more plants can be seen. Bushes and flowers planted in front of people’s houses, gardens filled with greenery and trees are all around. In the inner city there is less to be seen, a potted plant here and there, some trees in a park long abandoned. The people hardly seem to notice, except for when the go to the outskirts and see the greenery that’s missing from the streets they walk.

At the city centre is a space used for markets and lines with shops, words on signs decorating buildings to guide people where they want to go. The area gets decorated during holidays. On one side of the space lies the theatre and on the other lies the college with its glass windows, low to ground yet wider than the buildings around it.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Film Review - Edward Scissorhands

Fig 1. Movie Poster

Tim Burton's 1990 film Edward Scissorhands is a story 'told gently, subtly and with infinite sympathy for an outsider who charms the locals but then inadvertently arouses their baser instincts.' (Lee, 2014). The story is that of the character Edward who is brought down from his castle to the quiet suburb by the Avon lady, Peggy.

Initially the suburbs community is welcoming and curious about Edward, seeing him as something new and exciting. Edward is revered to a celebrity status by the community until he is involved in a crime and their idolism turns sour causing the people to 'turn on him, eventually driving him out of the community. Meanwhile his wistful and impossible attraction to Kim (Winona Ryder), the Avon lady's teenage daughter, adds another layer of tension.' (Dawes, 1990).

Fig 2. The suburban town in contrast with the castle.

The idea of a community that wants to be different while ultimately all buying the same things is apparent in the film through the design of both the suburban environment and the costume designs of the community. The movie shows this through 'an entirely artificial world, where a haunting gothic castle crouches on a mountaintop high above a storybook suburb, a goofy sitcom neighbourhood where all of the houses are shades of pastels and all of the inhabitants seem to be emotional clones of the Jetsons.' (Ebert, 1990). Edward himself is completely different in all this, living in a greyscale almost Victorian castle on top of a hill and dressed all in black leather, leading him to be the character that's most individual to himself thus making him completely ostracised by everyone else.

Fig 3. Edward and Kim


Dawes, Amy (1990) Film Review: Tim Burton’s ‘Edward Scissorhands’ -

Ebert, Roger (1990) Edward Scissorhands -

Lee, Marc (2014) Edward Scissorhands, review: 'a true fairytale' -


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